I love Transformers. I love the fundamental silliness of robots disguising themselves as trucks, cars and cassette tapes. I love that their origin story was apparently made up by a marketing executive during a taxi ride. I love the care that's gone into the LEGO Transformers. And I love that you can now buy a robot Optimus Prime that'll auto-transform at your command.
The £699 Robosen Elite Optimus Prime Robot, which has just gone on sale, has been created by Robosen's robotics experts in collaboration with Hasbro. It's sixteen inches tall, contains over 5,000 components and comes with 125 sound effects and voices from the ogirinal Optimus Prime actor Peter Cullen.
What's inside the Robosen Elite Optimus Prime?
The outside may be an accurate copy of the distinctly plasticky original, but inside there's some very modern tech. The 27 individual servo motors are controlled by 58 different microchips, and the voice recognition can understand 39 different commands including "roll out", "convert" and "attack".
It's also designed to do more serious things than amuse you or your friends. It supports entry-level voice programming, hand-guiding programming and soon, block-based 3D software programming so that you can design actions and voice controls of varying levels of complexity.
There's no doubt that at £699, this Transformer is one for more affluent fans of the show: LEGO's 10302 Optimus Prime, itself a fairly pricey proposition, has an RRP of £159. But the automation and programmability are the big draw here, and mean that this particular model is more than just something fun to look at. It's on sale now from multiple retailers including Game, House of Fraser, Selfridges, Sports Direct and others.